"It's not a sequel, or rebootquel."

"Ghostbusters" director Paul Feig made that very clear Wednesday to a packed house of reporters and die-hard fans for the world premiere of the film's first trailer.

Sony spared no expense, flying out dozens of fans to the Culver City lot -- in costume, with custom proton packs (!) -- to screen our first look at the spooks, spectres and ghosts that stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones will be busting.
Ghostbusters (2016) - Trailer No. 1
The verdict? For movie fans, the original film is as sacred a cow as you can get. And, tonally, Feig's film seems very committed to honoring that legacy. Sure, it's not a sequel, officially, but the trailer clearly indicates that this story will also be an origin tale, one that has beats similar to that which came before. Feig even stressed that what appealed to him most about taking on the project was that he wanted to see this next generation of Ghostbusters build themselves, and their DIY tech, from the ground up -- much like Venkman and Co. did over 30 years ago.
Some jokes don't land, others very much hit the mark -- including the gag involving a purple-wigged McKinnon, and Jones' delivery of "the power of Patty compels you!" It is confusing, however, that the new movie doesn't acknowledge the events of the original, but the trailer for it does. (Also? Instead of "Four Scientists Saved New York City," the trailer's opening text should read: "Three scientists and a Winston." *pushes up glasses, puffs on inhaler.)

It may be even more confusing, and potentially off-putting, for fans of the original to see its cast cameo in this new film in roles that are not the characters they played in 1984.

If the crowd cared about continuity, they didn't show it. After a standing ovation, the audience demanded a second viewing of the trailer. Soon after, Feig was joined by his co-writer, Katie Dippold ("Spy"), and original "Ghostbusters" director, Ivan Reitman, to discuss the origins of the 2016 film, the 1984 original and what's next for the future of the franchise. Here are the highlights:

1. More than 30 years ago, the first "Ghostbusters" took shape over two weeks in the basement of a house on Martha's Vineyard that was home to Dan Aykroyd, Reitman and the late Harold Ramis.

2. Slimer is definitely in the new movie. And he has more than just a cameo. The "ugly lil' spud" received a slight upgrade from the original version; he has a scarier visage, with beadier eyes and pointy, almost claw-like fingers.

3. Aykroyd and Reitman didn't know, or expect, Slimer to become a piece of iconography from the film. They didn't even have the name, Slimer, at first. According to Reitman, it was always referred to during production as the "Belushi ghost," referring to the late John Belushi, Akyroyd's former collaborator on the project. "We didn't know what it was gonna be called," Reitman added, "only that it was going to eat a lot."
4. Feig repeatedly stressed his love and appreciation of the original film, and that fans can expect to find more callbacks to the 1984 classic in this new version. (But he did not spoil what those will be.) You can see one in the trailer, however: During a quick shot of Times Square being overrun with ghosts, a billboard flashes the words "That's a Big..." next to a picture of a Twinkie. Somewhere, Winston is smiling.

5. Feig was first approached about doing the film while he was making "Spy." Appropriately enough, he got a call from Reitman, who asked if he would be interested in directing.

6. McCarthy, who plays the team leader of sorts, was not an instant casting choice for the project, despite her and Feig's previous collaborations. "We didn't write these characters with anyone in mind," Feig revealed, adding that it took two months of going through potential lists of names before settling on the "perfect people" for the roles.

7. Improv was a key component to the original's success, and it will be for Feig's film. The director and his co-writer discussed how they kept the comedy "fresh" on set, relying on Dippold writing alternate lines on Post-Its and passing them to Feig as they shot, which he would then call-out to the actors on set. That is how one of the trailer's biggest laughs, "the power of Patty compels you!", came to be. This process allowed Feig to "capture that sense of lightning in a bottle," which the filmmakers stressed was key to good comedy.

Judging by the trailer, they seem to have pulled it off. We'll find out when "Ghostbusters" hits theaters July 15.

Ghostbusters
PG-132016
Based on 52 critics

Four women arm themselves with proton packs to battle mischievous ghosts in New York. Read More

December 4, 2016
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